$2.3M grant for USM Teacher Residency Program
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The Teacher Residency Program at the University of Southern Mississippi has the goal of setting the future of education up for success across the state.
“Both recruitment and retention are huge in terms of making sure we are able to fill those classes that every student in Mississippi has a high-quality teacher,” said USM Director of TRP Andrea Krell.
Now, the university is getting a $2.3 million dollar Teacher Quality Partnership grant to expand on its program.
“For example, we are looking to improve the induction piece,” said Audra Classen, grant co-investigator. “That’s that two years after a teacher resident graduates. We want to continue to help them.”
Classen said the early years are critical for educators.
The grant will also allow year two teachers a monthly stipend.
“In our previous undergrad program, the time that it takes to be in the school and doing class really limited the amount of time they could work,” Classen said. “This grant allows us to provide them with funding or stipends; living stipends.”
The program will also help residents with materials for their classrooms, but the changes are not only geared toward the new teachers.
“We also are working on improving our mentor-teacher development,” Classen said. “We’re going to provide some training and some coaching to those mentor-teachers. "
The university has chosen the Forrest County School District and Hattiesburg Public School District as partners to help expand the teacher pipeline in the Pine Belt.
“Over the course of the school year, they start to co-teach alongside their mentor teacher, co-plan alongside their mentor teacher, and gradually take over increasing roles in the classroom,” Krell said.
Applications are expected to be ready by the Spring of 2024.
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